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Author Topic: Layoffs at istock  (Read 109050 times)

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« Reply #200 on: January 19, 2012, 01:44 »
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those waiting gleefully for their demise should be very careful what they wish for. the impact on prices and commission structures in microstock on the whole cwould be huge if something were to go down with iStock.

While I'm not gleefully awaiting the demise of any company, I don't think the impact of IS going under would be that huge. Sure it will hurt some contributors (greatly), but they'll most likely recover. Someone else will pick up the sales and I don't think prices or royalties will get worse as a result of IS failing. If anything it will be a cautionary tale for other companies.

I think contributors underestimate their own relevance in building these companies and microstock from nothing. IS and SS didn't build microstock. We did. They were just there to wisely capitalize on it.


« Reply #201 on: January 19, 2012, 01:57 »
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Its just my guess, but I really think this points towards the beginning of iStock being absorbed into Getty (rather than operating as an independent site) as many other collections have. With that done, H+F can easily put Getty back on the market for resale. That's bound to happen sooner or later, and a streamlined Getty might be more easily sold.

to address contributor concerns around these layoffs.

This is an internal business matter, part of operations. It should not be anyone's business. I see layoffs everyday and most of the time is because they are not productive, lost some accounts they were in charge of, maybe some cutbacks and etc. Some employees don't adapt to changes and so they have to go. I'm sure they will hire more people to either replace those that were let go or for new projects.

Wow! Talk about a "head in sand" view of iStock! All in one day a heap of people lost accounts and didn't adapt so they have to be replaced?

It's as plain as the nose on your face that this is either a tactical response to falling profits or a strategic move that is part of an overall cost-cutting restructuring (possibly brought about by the failure of the previous strategy).

In your observation of other company layoffs you may notice that more often than not when a large group is sacked it is a cost-cutting measure so they are never replaced. Others are told to work harder to keep their jobs.

« Reply #202 on: January 19, 2012, 02:06 »
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IS is the only place keeping up image costs and royalties.  Without them, you'd be getting $.10 from SS and images at DT would be $.50 .

And without SS and DT you would be getting 20% (or less). Remember why and when the "on the bridge at midnight" decision to create exclusivity was made?

lagereek

« Reply #203 on: January 19, 2012, 02:15 »
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"us indies" can always go exclusive and get a fair price for your work, a higher commision and so on. (much MORE then you get anywhere else).

Is this suggestion actually meant to be taken seriously?!! Or am I having a flashback to two years ago? Istok is in total freefall.  No informed person in their right mind would consider going exclusive now.All the momentum is moving the other way.  You probably will be too, and sooner than you think.

Very TRUE!  indeed, if history and this business with IS, have proved anything,  its that exclusivity just doesnt work and is extremely dangerous. Can be wrecked just over a night.

« Reply #204 on: January 19, 2012, 02:26 »
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iStock offers a brand, an exclusive product, and higher prices for a (generally) better standard of image. at least that is what they used to do, very well.

those waiting gleefully for their demise should be very careful what they wish for.

Oh, come on! That "exclusive is better quality, woo-yah" myth never had much credibility, even in the early days. Now the inspection is tougher elsewhere than at iS.

I don't want to see iStock collapse. Even last month it still generated 12% of my earnings (22% if you count in PP), a far cry from the 40% it once was - and while I've managed to replace the lost percentage so my overall earnings last year were my best ever, I know hard it is to plug such gaps.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #205 on: January 19, 2012, 07:04 »
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sweeten the deal for us and demand exclusivity. win-win.
I think it would take a long time for them to build up any sort of trust.
Look at the people (several) who severed their ties with other agencies to become exclusive on the promise that they would be 'grandfathered in'.
I'm sure most people would be extremely sceptical of any 'sweetening' of contributor relations.
And whatever the 'new kind of trust' JJ said iStock would have to earn was meant to be, there has been no sign of it since he wrote that over a year ago.

While I would love to go back to the heady days of  late 2008, it's not going to happen by wishing.

iStock, even if they wanted to, would have a long, hard climb to win back even a fraction of confidence and 'trust' from the contributor community.

« Reply #206 on: January 19, 2012, 07:42 »
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sweeten the deal for us and demand exclusivity. win-win.
I think it would take a long time for them to build up any sort of trust.
Look at the people (several) who severed their ties with other agencies to become exclusive on the promise that they would be 'grandfathered in'.
I'm sure most people would be extremely sceptical of any 'sweetening' of contributor relations.
And whatever the 'new kind of trust' JJ said iStock would have to earn was meant to be, there has been no sign of it since he wrote that over a year ago.

While I would love to go back to the heady days of  late 2008, it's not going to happen by wishing.

iStock, even if they wanted to, would have a long, hard climb to win back even a fraction of confidence and 'trust' from the contributor community.

They'd probably have to do a comprehensive reset (start again, purge a lot of the top and middle management layers...)

PaulieWalnuts

  • We Have Exciting News For You
« Reply #207 on: January 19, 2012, 07:57 »
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Hmmm, interesting timing for this Getty blog post about their technology development approach which I'm familiar with.

I wonder how much of this approach impacts technology strategy at IS.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #208 on: January 19, 2012, 08:03 »
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iStock offers a brand, an exclusive product, and higher prices for a (generally) better standard of image. at least that is what they used to do, very well.
Arguably, that was then.
This is now.
Brand = product + personality.
What are the current 'values' of the iStock 'brand' that differentiates it from any others, in a good way?
Yes, there are many exclusive files.
(In many cases, they are essentially similar to many widely-distributed files, just with specific models)
Then ... ?
And for personality, we know who is the most visible face of the 'personality' of iStock - someone who is even snarky to buyers and forgets that many contributors are also buyers. Presumably, as he has retained his job, these are the values they are happy about conveying.

« Reply #209 on: January 19, 2012, 08:07 »
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Hmmm, interesting timing for this Getty blog post about their technology development approach which I'm familiar with.

I wonder how much of this approach impacts technology strategy at IS.


Just found this;

"Redundancies at iStock    

Posted on January 19, 2012

This statement directly from Getty/iStock: As we continue to bring Getty Images and iStockphoto closer together, we are completing the process of full functional integration across the two brands. As with most integrations, some positions become redundant and approximately 30 employees will be leaving the business in the coming months. It is never easy to make these decisions, especially given the strong team we have at iStockphoto. Nonetheless, Getty Images remains committed to having an office in Calgary and to the vitality of the iStockphoto brand."


This was the source;

http://www.whichstockagency.com/en/502/nutshell

It's nice that they're "committed to having an office in Calagary" although it omits to confirm whether any staff will actually be occupying it.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2012, 08:11 by gostwyck »

« Reply #210 on: January 19, 2012, 08:12 »
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iStock is not going to die, others will raise prices like SS did for video. My sales have been very strong this month. Getty needs to consolidate certain areas! I would do the same to save money and be more efficient. My Vetta files are doing great so I say iStock is now mid-stock. No the community as it was is now gone and that is a shame indeed. But business is business and I can come here to chat. I focus on my content as I have a lot more to learn and as I push myself my skills get better and more opportunities arise because of it.

helix7

« Reply #211 on: January 19, 2012, 08:29 »
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iStock offers a brand, an exclusive product, and higher prices for a (generally) better standard of image. at least that is what they used to do, very well...

You're right, they used to do that very well. More recently I'd say that they've limited the collection with their ancient standards and managed to let other agencies exclusively have content that istock doesn't offer. Until recently that was most notably EPS10 vector files, and still is anything with text in it, despite the high demand everywhere else for ready-to-use vector files with text included, or composed entirely of text, hand-lettered or otherwise. They also refuse anything that's a print template, like business card templates, brochure layouts, etc., all things that SS and some others accept. istock is sticking with their "we'll tell you what you want instead of giving you more choice and responding to your requests" mentality, and they'll ride that idea all the way to the bottom, while other agencies evolve and adapt to buyer demands.

...those waiting gleefully for their demise should be very careful what they wish for. the impact on prices and commission structures in microstock on the whole could be huge if something were to go down with iStock...

That's assuming that istock was still a big player at the time of the collapse. They're already #2 or #3 at best by most standards (lower in my earnings sheet but that's just me). Site traffic is way down, they're not so influential anymore. And after watching istock collapse I doubt that very many companies would be willing to travel down the same path. Other companies also aren't influenced by the greed of Getty or H&F. They don't have those interests to answer to. istock going away would only have a positive impact on the business. Even the influx of exclusives into the other agencies would be a good thing, I think. Whatever bolsters the better agencies and helps the collections, thus encouraging buyers, is good for everyone.

While it's nice to think about the day istock disappears off the map, realistically it will never happen. If istock stays on the downhill slide, eventually the investors will cut their losses and bail, opening the door for a shot at recovery. Losing their overbearing overlords is probably the only thing that will save the company at this point. I still firmly believe that a drastic across-the-board price reduction is the only way to turn things around, but that won't ever happen while Getty is at the helm.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #212 on: January 19, 2012, 08:43 »
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While it's nice to think about the day istock disappears off the map, realistically it will never happen.
Never heard of the Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire?
The bigger they come, the harder they fall.

Quote
I still firmly believe that a drastic across-the-board price reduction is the only way to turn things around, but that won't ever happen while Getty is at the helm.
I'm not so keen on the price cut idea, but it could easily happen under Getty if they slash all commissions again, which would either be their end, when most contributors baled. Then how would the other agencies jump? Past performance is no indication of future possiblitiles.

« Reply #213 on: January 19, 2012, 08:47 »
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Hmmm, interesting timing for this Getty blog post about their technology development approach which I'm familiar with.

I wonder how much of this approach impacts technology strategy at IS.


Just found this;

"Redundancies at iStock    

Posted on January 19, 2012

This statement directly from Getty/iStock: As we continue to bring Getty Images and iStockphoto closer together, we are completing the process of full functional integration across the two brands. As with most integrations, some positions become redundant and approximately 30 employees will be leaving the business in the coming months. It is never easy to make these decisions, especially given the strong team we have at iStockphoto. Nonetheless, Getty Images remains committed to having an office in Calgary and to the vitality of the iStockphoto brand."


This was the source;

http://www.whichstockagency.com/en/502/nutshell

It's nice that they're "committed to having an office in Calagary" although it omits to confirm whether any staff will actually be occupying it.


And posted to the iStock forums -- and quickly locked with a "we're not going to talk about it."   I honestly do not understand their refusal to just admit it.  Being so secretive just fuels speculation. 

« Reply #214 on: January 19, 2012, 08:55 »
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I posted it knowing it would be locked. Its like a lawyer stating something to a jury knowing the Judge is going to say "disregard that statement" My problem is I have no idea to what level they are going to merge. If their goal is to have everyone at 20% this year then I want out NOW!

« Reply #215 on: January 19, 2012, 09:03 »
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I posted it knowing it would be locked. Its like a lawyer stating something to a jury knowing the Judge is going to say "disregard that statement" My problem is I have no idea to what level they are going to merge. If their goal is to have everyone at 20% this year then I want out NOW!
That's it exactly.  Someone in here posted that it's an internal business decision and no one else's business except for those involved.  But people do make decisions based on what is happening.  As an analogy, if you hold stock in a company or industry, news about organizational changes to a company you are invested in are relevant, even if you're not an employee.  That announcement from Getty is what should have been stated by iStock when it happened, so people (contributors and buyers) don't have to learn about it through social media.   

« Reply #216 on: January 19, 2012, 09:05 »
0
Hmmm, interesting timing for this Getty blog post about their technology development approach which I'm familiar with.

I wonder how much of this approach impacts technology strategy at IS.


Just found this;

"Redundancies at iStock    

Posted on January 19, 2012

This statement directly from Getty/iStock: As we continue to bring Getty Images and iStockphoto closer together, we are completing the process of full functional integration across the two brands. As with most integrations, some positions become redundant and approximately 30 employees will be leaving the business in the coming months. It is never easy to make these decisions, especially given the strong team we have at iStockphoto. Nonetheless, Getty Images remains committed to having an office in Calgary and to the vitality of the iStockphoto brand."


This was the source;

http://www.whichstockagency.com/en/502/nutshell

It's nice that they're "committed to having an office in Calagary" although it omits to confirm whether any staff will actually be occupying it.


Huh?  Does this mean 30 more employees will be let go, or are they referring to the 30 who were just let go?  The source link only leads to IS, not the actual statement.

PaulieWalnuts

  • We Have Exciting News For You
« Reply #217 on: January 19, 2012, 09:08 »
0
WOW, and Kelly Thompson is leaving Getty. His last day is tomorrow January 20th.

http://www.bjp-online.com/british-journal-of-photography/news/2140045/jobs-shed-getty-images-absorbs-istockphoto
« Last Edit: January 19, 2012, 09:13 by PaulieWalnuts »

« Reply #218 on: January 19, 2012, 09:08 »
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I'm not sure where that statement came from, but the important part is "we are completing the process of full functional integration across the two brands".  Ick.

eta: now I know.  Thx!  I was wondering when someone would find the news about Kelly...
« Last Edit: January 19, 2012, 09:11 by sjlocke »

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #219 on: January 19, 2012, 09:10 »
0
Hmmm, interesting timing for this Getty blog post about their technology development approach which I'm familiar with.

I wonder how much of this approach impacts technology strategy at IS.


Just found this;

"Redundancies at iStock    

Posted on January 19, 2012

This statement directly from Getty/iStock: As we continue to bring Getty Images and iStockphoto closer together, we are completing the process of full functional integration across the two brands. As with most integrations, some positions become redundant and approximately 30 employees will be leaving the business in the coming months. It is never easy to make these decisions, especially given the strong team we have at iStockphoto. Nonetheless, Getty Images remains committed to having an office in Calgary and to the vitality of the iStockphoto brand."


This was the source;

http://www.whichstockagency.com/en/502/nutshell

It's nice that they're "committed to having an office in Calagary" although it omits to confirm whether any staff will actually be occupying it.


Huh?  Does this mean 30 more employees will be let go, or are they referring to the 30 who were just let go?  The source link only leads to IS, not the actual statement.

I'm inferring it's about the 30 who were just let go. Perhaps they gave them notice instead of a severance payment, or maybe (best case scenario) let each of them choose, as they said, 'in the coming months' rather than all leaving at once. Of cuorse, we all know how ambiguous iStock statements are at the best of times, and this is not the best of times.

« Reply #220 on: January 19, 2012, 09:18 »
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« Last Edit: January 19, 2012, 09:21 by RapidEye »

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #221 on: January 19, 2012, 09:22 »
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I'm not sure where that statement came from, but the important part is "we are completing the process of full functional integration across the two brands".  Ick.

Wasn't that one of the questions on the questionnaire to buyers: something like would you like to see all collections at once.
So either:
1. The majority response was Yes, showing that buyers aren't as confused by different prices as some here think (contrary to real-shop experience, where different prices are usual)
2. They ignored whatever the buyers said and are consolidating assets to keep down overheads.

« Reply #222 on: January 19, 2012, 09:28 »
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As a former Getty-iStock employee who was also let go in July (after doing GREAT work there), I can only say there is a much better door open for these people. I'm now at Shutterstock, and we're hiring like crazy. So we'd love to hear from talented people who have much to contribute in this industry. All my best to the 30 iStock people at this time of transition. I know from personal experience that it can be scary for you (and those close to you) right now, but it may get a lot better as it did for me.

« Reply #223 on: January 19, 2012, 09:36 »
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As a former Getty-iStock employee who was also let go in July (after doing GREAT work there), I can only say there is a much better door open for these people. I'm now at Shutterstock, and we're hiring like crazy. So we'd love to hear from talented people who have much to contribute in this industry. All my best to the 30 iStock people at this time of transition. I know from personal experience that it can be scary for you (and those close to you) right now, but it may get a lot better as it did for me.

That's great to hear!  congrats on your new-found position at SS!  Thanks for sharing that info here.

« Reply #224 on: January 19, 2012, 09:40 »
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As a former Getty-iStock employee who was also let go in July (after doing GREAT work there), I can only say there is a much better door open for these people. I'm now at Shutterstock, and we're hiring like crazy. So we'd love to hear from talented people who have much to contribute in this industry. All my best to the 30 iStock people at this time of transition. I know from personal experience that it can be scary for you (and those close to you) right now, but it may get a lot better as it did for me.

Welcome and thanks for sharing!  IMO...you're working for a much better company.  SS has been my favorite since Day 1 for good reason. 

Mind if I ask a question?  Hmm...let me see if I can put this delicately..........................WT* is going on over at Getty and IS?!?!!  This is the first I've heard of layoffs last July.


 

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